SYLLABUS

Click on links to get to information and questions about the authors and works

illustration from Zamiatin's WE

 

WEEK 1

January 17: Background, reading list, syllabus; discuss final reading

January 19: Konstantin Tsiolkovskii, "On the Moon: A Fantastic Tale," in Red Star Tales, pp. 38-77; Nikolai Fyodorov, "The Question of Brotherhood..." - on Moodle.

Information on Tsiolkovsky and Fyodorov and questions for reading

 

WEEK 2

January 24: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, "Vera Pavlovna's Dream," Worlds Apart, pp. 248-58, and on Moodle; Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor," on Moodle, and "Dream of a Ridiculous Man," Worlds Apart, pp. 276-90, on Moodle

Information and Questions on Dostoevsky and Chernyshevsky

January 26: Aleksandr Bogdanov, Red Star, introduction, pp. 1-16, and 17-140

Information and Questions on Bogdanov

 

 

WEEK 3

January 31: Valery Briusov, "The Republic of the Southern Cross," WA, 303-17; Bryusov, "Rebellion of the Machines," Red Star Tales, pp. 78-85; Alexander Kuprin, "The Toast," WA, 348-49 (also on Moodle).

Information and Questions on Briusov and Kuprin

February 2: Karel Čapek, R.U.R. and Andrei Platonov, "The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel," Worlds Apart, pp. 584-615 (also on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Čapek and R.U.R. 

Information and Questions on Platonov and "The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel"

 

WEEK 4

February 7: Evgenii Zamiatin, We

Information and Questions on We

February 9: Alexei N. Tolstoy, slim excerpt from "Aèlita, Queen of Mars," Worlds Apart, pp. 555-83, and on Moodle; clip from Yakov Protazanov's Aèlita; Aleksndr Belyaev, "Professor Dowell's Head," in Red Star Tales, pp. 113-157 .

Information and Questions on Aèlita

​Information and Questions on Belyaev and Professor Dowell

Possible topics for the first paper, due February 24

 

 

WEEK 5

February 14: Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading, Foreword and Chapters 1-20

Information and Questions on Nabokov and Invitation to a Beheading

February 16: Mikhail Bulgakov, "The Fatal Eggs," Worlds Apart, pp. 471-529 (also on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Bulgakov's "Fatal Eggs"

 

 

WEEK 6

February 21: Karel Čapek, War with the Newts, Book One, pp. 9-114

Information and Questions on Čapek's War with the Newts

FIRST PAPER DUE  Feb 24!

February 23: War with the Newts, Books Two and Three, pp. 117-241

Big Issues in the course to date

 

 

WEEK 7

February 28: Josef Nesvadba, "Expedition in the Opposite Direction," pp. 50-84, and "Inventor of His Own Undoing," pp. 142-164; Zamiatin, "On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters" (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Nesvadba

March 2: Alerksandr Kazantsev, “Explosion,” in Red Star Tales, pp. 224-49; Ivan Efremov, excerpt from The Andromeda Nebula, in Worlds Apart, pp. 616-46 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Kazantsev

Information and Questions on Efremov

 

SPRING BREAK

 

WEEK 8

March 14: Stanisław Lem, Solaris

Information and Questions on Lem and Solaris

Big Issues in Solaris

March 16: Soviet SF stories: Vladlen Bakhnov, "The Fifth on the Left," pp. 142-55; Sever Gansovsky, "Vincent Van Gogh," pp. 52-118; Ilya Varshavsky, "No Alarming Symptoms," pp. 1-14 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on these writers and stories

 

 

WEEK 9

March 21:  Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Escape Attempt pp. 3-100 (on Moodle)

Information and questions about the Strugatskys and Escape Attempt

Midterm exam due!

March 23: Kirill Bulychëv, "I Was the First to Find You," pp. 50-63, "May I Please Speak to Nina?" pp. 78-90, "Snowmaiden," pp. 103-13 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Bulychëv

 

 

WEEK 10

March 28: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Hard to Be a God

Information and questions about Hard to Be a God

March 30: Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

Information and questions about Roadside Picnic  

 

 

WEEK 11

April 4: Stanisław Lem, The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age

Information and questions about Cyberiad

April 6: More Soviet SF stories: Olga Larionova, "Temira," pp. 1-30; Larionova, "The Useless Planet," pp. 80-121; Valentina Zhuravleva, "The Brat," pp. 31-40 (also available as "Hussy" in another translation, if you're interested in comparing them, pp. 143-151); Gennady Gor, "The Garden," pp. 107-25 (all on Moodle)

Information and questions about Larionova, Zhuravleva, and Gor

 

WEEK 12

April 11: Lem, Futurological Congress, pp. 1-149

Information and questions on Lem's Futurological Congress

LONG PAPER OR WEB PRESENTATION DUE!

April 13: Vladimir Savchenko, "Mixed Up," Red Star Tales, p. 352-98; Olga Larionova, "A Double Last Name," on Moodle

Information and questions on Savchenko and "Mixed Up"

 

 

WEEK 13

April 18: Viktor Pelevin, Omon Ra

Information about Pelevin and questions on Omon Ra

 

April 20: Daliya Truskinovskaya, excerpt from Doorinda, Red Star Tales, pp. 424-440; Sergei Lukyanenko, “My Dad’s an Antibiotic,” Red Star Tales, pp. 441-63

Information and Questions on Truskinovskaya and Lukyanenko

 

 

WEEK 14

April 25: Reading TBA: You'll choose

 

April 27: Final discussion.

SPECIAL PROJECT DUE!

Let me know if you have questions about the Special Project.

 

Final Examination will be a three-hour self-scheduled written exam, posted on Moodle, due to me no later than May 11. (Or May 6, if you are a graduating senior at Bryn Mawr or Haverford.)